The Yankees have been struggling all season, but manager Joe Girardi's been working wonders with a lineup that featured Toronto Blue Jays cast-offs Lyle Overbay and Vernon Wells. They've relied on Eduardo Nunez for 75 games at shortstop and Chris Stewart and his .207 avg. behind the plate.
The Yankees of old they are not.
The staff is losing the greatest closer of all-time and Ace CC Sabathia has been uncharacteristically subpar sporting a 14-13 record with a 4.78 ERA. Andy Pettitte is retiring, opening up a spot in the rotation, and Phil Hughes has been demoted to the bullpen with a return to the starting five looking less and less likely.
Vidal Nuno was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 48th round of the 2009 MLB June Amateur Draft from Baker University. He spent the last five years in the minors putting up great numbers; 32-18, 2.84 ERA, 409 strikeouts in 428 innings and a 1.096 WHIP. With the Yankees' shortcomings, Nuno was giving the chance every player dreams of.
He had a stellar spring giving up one run in ten innings for a 0.61 ERA, while striking out 13. His WHIP was a stunning 0.95. He didn't make the starting lineup, but continued putting up great numbers in Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre; 2-0, 1.54 ERA.
April 29 against the Houston Astros was his first MLB start, and over the course of his five appearances, he didn't disappoint. Over 20 innings, he surrendered five earned runs, struck out nine and held opponents to a .213 batting average.
In early June, Nuno injured his groin during a Triple A start, and never returned. It seems fitting that anything good, came crashing down for the Bronx Bombers. Bad luck or the baseball God's exacting revenge? Who knows?
Nuno is currently on the 60 DL as of September 7. Once spring training comes around he should be ready to impress the brass and make his case as the fifth starter, emergency sixth, or even long relief. There's nothing saying he doesn't deserve that, the numbers prove it.